Rafael and Lidiane Ribas

Rafael and Lidiane Ribas

Rafael Ribas and his wife Lidiane serve in a church plant in Portimão, in Southern Portugal

'Hello, I'm Rafael, my wife is called Lidiane, and our children are Rafaella and Bernardo. We are planting a church in the city of Portimão, in the Algarve region in the south of Portugal! We are Brazilian, and are part of one of the churches of ‘Acção Bíblica’, which is a denomination whose origin is in Switzerland, the fruit of the revival in Scotland.'

'I was rescued by Jesus in the midst of the darkness of drugs and crime; his light shone gloriously on my life, and since then I have dedicated myself to sharing the gospel to as many people as I could. The compassion of Jesus is probably the greatest grace that my family and I share, and our lives are totally dedicated to his call to care for his sheep.'

'I graduated from the South American Theological Faculty, which is part of the South American Theological Fraternity. As in Lausanne, and also with John Stott contributing significantly, this movement emerged in Latin America and set out to create a kind of Theology of Mission, as well as to unite denominations for mission.'

'The Lord placed upon our hearts very clearly the task of planting churches that plant other churches and that train pastors and form pastoral families, and we have dedicated ourselves to doing that for some years now. We planted a church in Brazil in a very needy place, and after that we sensed the Lord calling us to Europe with the same mission. During the period 2019-2020, in Portimão, Portugal, we started connecting with others, sharing our lives, our friendship, and the gospel of Jesus, and many people have been inspired to dedicate their lives to Jesus and his church since then. Even with the pandemic and the global crises, these people have grown in love and grace every day and have dedicated themselves to the mission. This church plant has therefore become very healthy and vigorous.'

'We are already working hard to form a healthy future leadership: three elders along with their families. We also have many deacons to be trained; forty people have passed the new members’ class and are committed to us. Our public worship services on Sunday average fifty to sixty people, and on Wednesdays we have a prayer service that is also well-attended. Portimão and Portugal have some nominal Christians, many of them Catholics, but we have very few people with a new heart. The percentage of evangelical Christians is only about 1% of the country's population. Portugal is a mission field that lacks the gospel; the culture is similar to the rest of Europe and reflects the entire global agenda of contempt and attacks on Jesus and his Church. We are very happy to be part of the EMF Family and we count on your prayers so that more and more people know the grace and love of our God!'

Please pray:

● For Rafael and his family

● For the health and growth of the church in all areas

● For the success of gospel work in the city of Portimão, and Portugal more generally

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Lighting up the Darkness update: The Ribas family in Portimão

January 1, 2024
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Meet Rafael and Lidiane Ribas and their children Rafaella and Bernardo; they are our missionaries in Portugal and have planted a new church supported by the ‘Lighting Up The Darkness’ initiative they have seen much growth.
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